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Finding pedagogical value in Australian contemporary popular music: A comparative case study of electric guitar compositional styles

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How do educators ascertain the pedagogical value of a musical composition for inclusion as curriculum exemplars? A number of factors contribute, including: canonic status, historical and cultural significance, popularity and aesthetic values. This comparative case study examines a number of Australian compositions from within the scope of contemporary popular music (CPM) looking for musical richness as a factor of pedagogical value in modern guitar curricula. Using The Beatles’ song ‘Eleanor Rigby’ as a comparative basis, musicological methodologies of theoretical analysis are applied to six Australian CPM compositions to evaluate their pedagogical value. Discussion of the musical richness discovered in each composition leads to conclusions regarding their value within a guitar programme of an Australian CPM school curriculum.
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Keywords: Australian music curriculum; contemporary popular music; guitar; music education; pedagogical value

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Tasmania

Publication date: December 1, 2018

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  • The main aims of Journal of Popular Music Education, especially initially, will be iteratively to define the parameters of the field and disciplines of its readership and contributors (especially with regard to other journals in popular music and music education), this being an emerging field of scholarship and practice. The other principal aim will be to disseminate excellent critique and other forms of scholarship (e.g. phenomenological) in and related to the field. The journal will have an inclusive, global reach. 'Education' and 'popular music' are terms that we expect to be stretched and problematized through rigorous examination from multiple international perspectives.
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